|DoD News Briefing on Pentagon Renovation |
DoD News Briefing on Pentagon Renovation
Washington D.C. -- Source: News Transcript from the United States Department of Defense: DoD News Briefing: Mr. Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager, Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 11:00 a.m. EDT. (Also participating were Rear Admiral Craig R. Quigley, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and Mr. Terry Mitchell, chief, Audiovisual Division, OASD (PA). Video shown in this briefing is available on the Web. Slides used in this briefing are also available on the Web.
Quigley: (in progress) -- leader of a combat camera crew yesterday that was taken through the interior portions of the damaged section of the building, and with the FBI right there, with the building inspectors right there, with the fire chief -- fire department personnel right there to make sure that we were safe and non-intrusive on any of the -- from the law enforcement perspective -- and what we ended up with is a tape that we'll provide dubs to all of you, every inch of it.
What we have to start off with this morning, however, is a six-minute edited version, just for brevity, that Terry (Mitchell) will narrate a little bit for you, and that is what we will start off. Second, Mr. Lee Evey, no stranger to many of you, is the head of the Pentagon renovation project and has been for some time. Following Terry, Lee will then get up and go through a description -- take another step further to the description of the damage that you heard some yesterday, as well as how we're going to take it from here in renovating the -- repairing the damage and moving on for the renovation of the remainder of the building. So, that's the intention this morning. And, Terry, over to you.
Mitchell: Could you go ahead and roll the tape, please? As Admiral Quigley said, this was shot by Air Force combat cameramen yesterday afternoon. You can see evidence of fire damage along the corridors.
Q: Which corridor is that?
Mitchell: This is corridor five up here.
Q: Five and four?
Mitchell: I think it would be five and six.
Mitchell: Some of the damage at the entrance there.
The wall behind this is sheared off. That's why it's daylight that's streaming into the office there.
Q: Can you say at what level this is -- like on the first floor or --
Mitchell: This is on the fifth -- fifth floor. You can see this room here, this is one of the older windows. You can see how it's blasted in with the Venetian blinds in the back. This is the -- on the E Ring here -- this is between the E Ring and the D Ring. You can see this wall here is -- is falling in toward the outside of the building. As you can see here, this office is opened to the elements now, but there's stuff sitting on top of the -- the file cabinets and on the desk in that office. So, to have survived all of the initial impact and the person in here could have just walked right out. This is one of the unrenovated rooms. You can see the plastic on the fluorescent light has melted down because of the fire. And this was on the opposite side of the impact, so you can see some of the fire damage here. This is in one of the unrenovated spaces. More fire damage in the unrenovated spaces. Again, another office just opened up to the elements where the entrance sheared off. You can see someone's glasses here and some candy on the desk. This area back here, what you see here, that's the roof that has fallen in, in the back. This is on the first floor. This is very close to where the airplane went into. You can see the evidence of the some of the different shoring that they're using in order to shore up the building. The way they described it to me is they come in, they remove some debris, they shore it up. They move in further, they move some debris, they shore it up. And it reminded me of being like in a coal mine filled with metal shards all over the place. You can see some of the working conditions they're under here. You have water all over the floor, metal shards all over the floor, and having to work through the -- shoring up all this -- (inaudible) --
Q: How are breathing conditions down there? I see them wearing OBAs (oxygen breathing apparatus). Are they --
Mitchell: Well, they're not wearing OBAs, they're wearing respirators. We had to, in order to go in, we had to suit up just like they did in order to go into this area. Now, once they've cleared the area and make sure all the bodies are out, they go in with a bobcat and they're moving -- removing metal and everything they can as fast as they can to get in. This is evidence -- this is one of the columns that is in the Pentagon, and you can see how it's bent this way here, but the rebar is holding it together.
Q: Is that solid steel?
Mitchell: No, that's not solid steel. It's a cement column.
Mitchell: It's more to the right of where we were at. This is the -- this is in a renovated section on the opposite side, if you were facing the opposite side. This is a hole in -- there was a punch-out. They suspect that this was where a part of the aircraft came through this hole, although I didn't see any evidence of the aircraft down there.
Q: Which area is that?
Mitchell: This is right inside the E Ring.
Q: Did you see any evidence of the aircraft anywhere?
Mitchell: Yes, I did. You could see just small pieces of it.
Q: Well, how far in? Again, we're trying to figure out how it came into the building.
Q: Can we finish the video first and then we'll go back?
Mitchell: You can see someone from the Montgomery County unit here. This pile here is all Pentagon metal. None of that is aircraft whatsoever. As you can see, they've punched a hole in here. This was punched by the rescue workers to clean it out. You can see this is the -- some of the unrenovated areas where the windows have blown out. That's soldiers from the Third U.S. Infantry, the Honor Guard, are in there. And this is the conditions they have to work in. There's the Tyvek suits, the respirators, goggles, and helmets, and they also have boots on them as well.
Q: Where is that exactly? Between which rings?
Mitchell: Between the -- I believe it's the E and D Rings.
And that's the end of the tape.
Quigley: And again, we'll have -- this was just a short, edited version, and we'll have dubs, full dubs of all of the footage to hand out for those of you who wish one upon completion. Okay, next -- now, Ivan, getting to back to one of your questions, I believe, I think Lee is going -- is going to address directly your questions. So again, if not, please ask it when he's done. But I think, through the charts and his descriptions, you'll have a much more fulsome understanding of the plane's path and some of the damage done. Lee.
Evey: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Good morning. My name is Lee Evey. I'm the program manager for the Pentagon renovation. And I'm going to review with you this morning --
Q: Sorry. Is it E-V-Y?
Evey: No sir. It's E-V-E-Y. Echo-Victor-Echo-Yankee, sir.
Evey: I'm going to review with you some information with regard to the route of the plane, the impact, the effect it's had on the building, and some of the things that we've done in the Pentagon renovation prior to this incident that we think have had a significant beneficial effect for the people in the building. Let me first orient you, so as we -- as we walk through this, it makes sense to you.
You've probably heard a lot of discussion about wedge one, wedge two, the renovation, what's renovated, what's not renovated, and I think it's probably quite confusing. So I'm going to qualify that for you a little bit. Let me first orient you.
This is the south side of the building directly facing I-395. This is the heliport, the area, the side of the building where the aircraft impacted. This is the Mall Terrace, where we've built the new remote delivery facility, and most of your are familiar with that.
On this side is the River Entrance, which faces the Potomac River, and over on this side is the Metro entrance side, where we're building the new Metro entrance facility. Now, the reason why we are doing the renovation in wedges is that that is the way that the building was originally constructed.
The Pentagon was constructed in five chevron shapes.
Aerial view of the Pentagon showing the five chevrons
So, if you look at the first wedge, wedge one, it's a chevron. And the unique thing about the construction of the building is that each of these chevrons was built almost as a separate, stand-alone building. So, for instance, each one of these chevrons, or wedges, has its own complete utility system, which is unique and separate from the utility systems on either side. That's why we're doing the renovation the way we're doing it, in wedges. And in fact, we're replicating the way the building was originally built. What we're doing as our wedge one was the first wedge in the original construction of the Pentagon. Because you have individual utility feeds for each one of these areas, it enabled us to build a construction wall on this side, a construction wall on this side, move the people out, shut the utilities down and continue to operate the rest of the building without having any impact on building operations. Now, one of the things that you should be aware of at the Pentagon -- and I'm sure those of you who work here already are -- is that it's a very large building. Each one of these wedges is over 1 million square feet. And typically in each one of these wedges, you have about 5,000 occupants.
The total building is larger than three Empire State Buildings. It's got lots of amazing facts and figures associated with it with regard to its size and scope. To put things in perspective for you, though, the face on each of the five sides is a bit longer than three football fields in length. It's got 42,420 columns which hold the building up, and we've lost some of those columns. But to put that loss in perspective, there's over 42,000 of them in the building. It's got 85,000 light fixtures, six and a half million square feet, 17 and a half miles of corridors, 16,000 miles of communications cabling. It's a very, very large building.
So you have to put that in perspective as you look at some of the other things that I'll be showing you this morning. Now, where we are in the renovation is we're just completing wedge one. In fact, the construction was almost totally complete, within days of being totally complete. And we were moving people from wedge two into wedge one so that we would empty wedge two and could then begin construction in the wedge two area. So we were in the process of moving almost 5,000 people into wedge one.
That process was to be completed in October. And in November, we were to turn over to the new construction contractor for wedges two through five -- we were to turn over to them a completely empty wedge two -- no people, no furniture -- completely empty, so that they could start their demolition and abatement activities.
That's removing bad materials in the building and demolishing it so that it could then be rebuilt. Those plans are, of necessity, going to have to change somewhat now. But we find ourselves at a unique juncture. We had on-site the construction contractor who was completing wedge one, and we had just completed an extensive evaluation and source selection process to select a contractor to do wedges two through five. Our intent for the remainder of the renovation is to have one contractor finish it. We're doing a base contract award. The first part of the contract is to do the work in wedge two. And we have options in that contract to do wedges three, four and five. We don't have to exercise those options unless the contractor continues to do good work and we want to continue them.
Q: What's the size of that contract?
Q: What is the size?
Evey: I'll cover that information, sir.
Q: Can you say who -- has it been awarded?
Illustration of initial impact
Evey: I'll give you all that information. We'll get to that in just a couple of minutes if you can just hold on. What I wanted to do was try to put this in perspective for you so you could understand. We've learned -- this is wedge one, okay, the newly-renovated area. The path of the airplane seems to have taken it along this route, so it entered the building slightly, on this photo, slightly to the left of what we call corridor four. There are 10 radial corridors in the building that extend from A ring out through E ring, and this is the fourth of those radial corridors. So it impacted the building in an area that had been renovated, but its path was at a -- it appears to be at a diagonal, so that it entered in wedge one but passed through into areas of wedge two, an unrenovated portion of the building. And, of course, you all know it's got rings A through E, five stories tall, et cetera.
Q: That seems to indicate that it came to rest in ring C, the nose cone.
Evey: Let me talk to that, because you've asked a number of questions already about the extent of penetration, et cetera. This is an overhead of the building. The point of penetration was right here, and we blocked that out to show that's the area of collapse. The plane actually penetrated through the E ring, C ring -- excuse me -- E ring, D ring, C ring. This area right here is what we call A-E Drive. And unlike other rings in the building, it's actually a driveway that circles the building inside, between the B and the C ring. The nose of the plane just barely broke through the inside of the C ring, so it was extending into A-E Drive a little bit. So that's the extent of penetration of the aircraft.
Q: It broke through which one?
Evey: The rings are E, D, C, B and A. Between B and C is a driveway that goes around the Pentagon. It's called A-E Drive. The airplane traveled in a path about like this, and the nose of the aircraft broke through this innermost wall of C ring into A-E Drive.
Q: One thing that's confusing -- if it came in the way you described, at an angle, why then are not the wings outside? I mean, the wings would have shorn off. The tail would have shorn off. And yet there's apparently no evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring.
Evey: Actually, there's considerable evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring. It's just not very visible. When you get up close -- actually, one of my people happened to be walking on this sidewalk and was right about here as the aircraft approached. It came in. It clipped a couple of light poles on the way in.
He happened to hear this terrible noise behind him, looked back, and he actually -- he's a Vietnam veteran -- jumped prone onto the ground so the aircraft would not actually -- he thinks it (would have) hit him; it was that low. On its way in, the wing clipped. Our guess is an engine clipped a generator. We had an emergency temporary generator to provide life-safety emergency electrical power, should the power go off in the building. The wing actually clipped that generator, and portions of it broke off.
There are other parts of the plane that are scattered about outside the building. None of those parts are very large, however. You don't see big pieces of the airplane sitting there extending up into the air. But there are many small pieces. And the few larger pieces there look like they are veins out of the aircraft engine. They're circular.
Q: Would you say that the plane, since it had a lot of fuel on it at the impact, and the fact that there are very small pieces, virtually exploded in flames when it tore into the building? I mean, since there are not large pieces of the wings laying outside, did it virtually explode?
Evey: I didn't see it. My people who did see it enter the building describe it as entering the building and then there being flames coming out immediately afterwards. Whether you describe it as an explosion or not, people I talk to who were there, some called it an explosion. Others called it a large fire. I'm not sure. I wasn't there, sir. It's just a guess on my part.
Q: Is there anything about --
Evey: Could I keep on going through the briefing? And I'll answer questions at the end, if I may. And I'll stay and I'll answer any of your questions you want. I'll answer, okay? This is a very interesting picture. It's interesting to me because when you first look at what has happened to the building, it seems almost incomprehensible, almost like you took a puzzle and dumped it out on the table and you've got all these pieces all over the place. But actually, there's a symmetry to this. There's a rhyme and a reason to it. It's very interesting what you see here, okay? You see these vertical maroon bands here. They're of great interest to us in the Pentagon renovation, because what those are -- and you have some horizontal ones here -- what those are is those are steel frames that were placed into the building as part of our renovation activities. We undertook a significant amount of work to try to make the building much more blast-resistant than it was prior to renovation. These steel --
Q: Could you tell us what this is, because I can't --
Evey: This is the collapsed portion of the building.
Q: That's area one, though, right?
Q: What direction are we looking at?
Evey: You're looking from the outside of the building directly into the face of the area that has collapsed.
Q: Well, that's wedge one, though, right?
Evey: This is wedge one. That's correct. This is renovated area.
Q: (Off mike.)
Evey: That's correct. The portion that collapsed was in a renovated area where it went into wedge one. However, what's holding this whole structure together here are these steel beams. Now, the steel beams were placed -- again, they're about six inches by six inches, and they're part of a blast-resistant scheme that we put into the building. That consisted of three components. First, there were the steel beams themselves. The steel beams start on the first floor, go through the fifth floor. They're bolted together floor to floor, so they're one contiguous unit. Then we have blast-resistant windows. The weight of the windows and the steel framework which supports the windows is a little bit over a ton. It's about 2,500 pounds.
Q: (Off mike.)
Evey: Yes, ma'am. The glass is almost two inches thick. And we developed these windows and the system, the steel framework to go around it, in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers. We did work with the Army Corps of Engineers, using the blast analysis group that they have, to determine what types of overpressures this building might be subjected to, and then try to develop a blast-resistant system to defeat that. What's interesting about this is, first, you still see the steel connected together and intact. And despite the obvious huge pressures to which this glass was exposed, the glass is still intact. Even though the building eventually collapsed, the pieces of glass are still, for the most part, in a single piece. They just kind of popped as the building came down. These white panels that you see here, okay, that's a Kevlar cloth, the same stuff we make bullet-proof vests out of. We interspersed the Kevlar in between the steel beams in the windows to catch any fragmentation that would result from a blast event. Now, this was a terrible tragedy and people lost their lives. But I'm here to tell you that had we not undertaken this effort in the building, this could have been much, much worse. I'll give you a couple of anecdotes to explain that. At the point in time that this area was impacted by the aircraft, there were two of my people on the E ring -- that's the outermost ring -- on the fifth floor, and they were about 50, to 75 feet down the corridor from where the airplane impacted.
Q: (Off mike.)
Evey: They were on the wedge-one side, so they were on the south side. Fortunately, they were on the wedge-one side. Being 50 or 75 feet away, they heard a tremendous noise and they were shaken a bit. They don't have a scratch on them.
Immediately the area filled with black smoke. And these two individuals were on the fifth floor on their hands and knees, but they crawled through every office on the fifth floor making sure that anybody that was alive got out. They then crawled the same thing on the fourth floor, directly above where the aircraft impacted; the third floor; they crawled the second floor, to every single office, to make sure that if anyone was there who survived, that they got out. They couldn't get into the first floor, so they crawled out the building at that point. This structure held. It did not collapse for about 30 or 35 minutes. It gave them the time to do that and it gave people in the building time to escape the area. Even if they were injured, they had an opportunity to get out. In addition, clearly, from the evidence that we see in this area, we believe that the effect of this structure was to dramatically slow the plane as it entered the building and reduce the extent to which it penetrated the building.
Q: (Off mike.)
Evey: Yes, sir. There were, I'm sure, a lot of heroes that day, and I've heard a lot of anecdotal stories about that. Those just happened to be two of my people.
Q: Did those two find anybody to help out?
Evey: Yes, sir, they did find some people; okay, that's correct.
Q: When you say it slowed, my questions was the exterior of the building is still the same stone as what was from 50 years ago, or did that change in the renovation at all.
Evey: No, ma'am.
Q: And did that help?
Evey: The exterior of the building is limestone, okay. And we did not in any structural way change the limestone, okay. We did some cosmetic improvement to that limestone, repointing the joints in between, et cetera, but that did not have any significant effect on the strength of the limestone. The limestone is just hung on the building with some steel hangers.
Q: So you couldn't change the exterior right, because it's a historic preservation?
Evey: Yes, ma'am, it's a historic building. That's correct. There are certain things we cannot change, and that's one of the things we cannot.
Q: What you're talking about is you changed the structure inside.
Evey: That's right. This is a picture of it. This is what it looks like inside the building. The outside hasn't changed at all, but inside, these are the blast-resistant windows. This is the steel superstructure that goes around it. And then this light stuff in between is the Kevlar cloth. And again --
Q: Is this exterior wall?
Evey: This is an exterior wall. As we said, the picture up here is an exterior wall on the E Ring looking out of the building, okay. And you see here the very large bolts that then extend through the floor and into the top of a similar frame of the floor underneath. That's how they are bolted together.
Q: I'm sorry, is the steel frame only on the E Ring, or does it extend into the --
Evey: No, the steel frame is only on the E Ring, and that's the result of blast analysis that we did with respect to the way each of the walls were build and what the expectations are with respect to a response to blast effects that each one of those walls might --
Q: Can you define for us what sort of situations you had simulated, how much of a blast --
Evey: What --
Q: A Khobar Towers-type of blast or --
Evey: What we've simulated --
Quigley: I don't think I'd like to give a clear answer to that question.
Q: I think you're absolutely right. (Laughter.)
Evey: All I was going to say was we simulated what we thought we might experience. Here's a couple of other pictures. This really kind of captures, I think, some of the benefits that you can see here. Here of course is the area where the plane impacted. These are Wedge 1 windows. The dividing line between Wedge 1 and Wedge 2 is about here. So this is still Wedge 1, renovated area. And you can see right next to where the plane went in, the blast-resistant windows blew out. One floor away is still intact, okay. So we lost some windows here right where the plane impacted, but a very short distance away, the windows are still intact. I've gone into the building up on the fifth floor on the other side over here, not on this side. On the fourth floor, about maybe 40 feet away from where the plane entered the building, we have built a very large display case. The glass isn't even cracked in the display case. I mean, the building withstood a tremendous amount of punishment because of the very resilient design that went into this. Now here we have pictures of windows in Wedge 2, and if this picture here extended, these windows would be like over here somewhere, a long, long distance from where the plane entered the building. And yet in Wedge 2, where you don't have the blast resistance, they're all blown out and have suffered considerable damage.
Q: Mr. Evey, I'm on deadline. One quick question. Is the building stable enough now to try and raise the roof and get inside?
Evey: They're undertaking those activities probably today. They're trying to get heavy equipment in to move a lot of the heaviest debris away, sir. And I expect that to start at any time. We've got heavy cranes out there. The difficulty with moving them in there right away is underneath the area adjacent to the building, there are a series of tunnels used for those utility purposes, and we can't run those heavy cranes over those areas. It would collapse. So we have to clear areas and move them around through there -- (inaudible.)
Web columns held structure together
Thank you. Okay, this is the damage pattern that we see to the columns inside the building, and you can almost trace the path of the aircraft. This is why we believe it came in at an angle. The key here is, the red dots are where the columns are missing or cut completely. So they're providing as a concrete-and-rebar column virtually no support whatsoever to the building above. (Brief audio break.) You saw the internal core in that one picture. The way the columns were constructed for the Pentagon back in the '40s when they built the building here is a central core that's composed of low-grade steel rebar with concrete in it, and then outside of that is several inches of additional concrete with little or no steel in them whatsoever.
If a column is stripped, that outer coating of concrete has been blown away, it has been bowed, that means that in some way, that central core is dramatically damaged in some way. It has been bent or moved or shifted in some way. So you can expect that those columns have probably lost a considerable amount of their ability to carry weight. You see the pattern of the red and blue, and you can kind of see the path of the aircraft there.
Structural steel strengthens walls
The next is what we call Strip K, which is where the central core of that column has remained. And it has the vast majority of its ability and the strength to carry the weight. So it's lost the outer concrete, but it's still got the central core intact. And finally, the yellow is where there is some damage but it's minor damage, and not tremendously significant.
Blast resistant windows in Wedge 1
Q: Sir, do you have the dimensions for the area of that spot?
Evey: I don't happen to have that, but I can make that information available to you. It will have to be an estimate. I haven't had anybody in there with a tape measure to measure it. But we could give you that estimate. I just happen to know.
Evey: I don't have an estimate. I will give you one, but I'd have to go back and get it from somebody.
Q: Do you have any idea how fast the plane was moving?
Evey: No, ma'am, I don't.
Evey: Sure don't. But what's very interesting to us here -- remember that line of red dots that I showed you where the columns are missing, okay, that's this portion of the building right here. And what's holding up this whole portion of the building still from when the initial blast occurred or the incident occurred was those steel columns that we put in, okay. Had it not been for that, you would have had a much larger collapse and perhaps many more casualties.
Q: So that's the renovated part.
Windows in Wedge 2 vs. windows in Wedge 1
Evey: This is again a renovated section. That's correct, ma'am. It's renovated back to about here, and then Wedge 2 starts. These are temporary columns. This is part of the work that we're doing in support of the recovery activities. What my organization is doing at this point in time, we're providing all the heavy equipment. We're providing the cranes. We're providing the backhoes.
We're providing the front-end loaders, the dump trucks. The dumpsters in which to place evidence to be maintained for future analysis. We've built the roads out there. We provide the laborers who support in any way necessary. We provide structural engineers. We provide people who are trained and experts in recovery in these types of environments, et cetera. And they're working very, very closely with the firemen.
Typically what happens is a team of my folks will go in, always accompanied by a fireman, when some structural activity need to take place. And then they work under the guidance of the firemen. The next shows you where -- excuse me, the next shows where we are rebuilding columns using pressure-treated lumber to try to provide support for the building and make sure it doesn't collapse. Okay, now -- now you've probably learned more than you ever wanted to know about wedges and all of that, but -- so go back a bit here. This is Wedge 1, and this is Wedge 2.
This is the approach that we at this point in time intend to take in trying to put this building back together. And I have to caution that I'm telling you what we see right now and the way we would intend to do this in a notional sense right now. Clearly, this is subject to change as we become more knowledgeable and more aware of conditions. If you were to basically split each wedge in half, sort of run a line from the inner apex to the outer apex in each wedge -- so that's Wedge 1 and the Wedge 2 -- outside of that imaginary line, the damage to the building is minimal. So in Wedge 1 to this side, there's minimal damage. From Wedge 2 to this side, there's minimal damage. And what we intend to do roughly --
Q: What do you mean by minimal damage?
Evey: Okay, things like water and smoke damage.
Q: You're not talking about -- (inaudible) -- damage, the structure of the building.
Evey: Structural. Now what we would intend to do is we would intend to build a construction barrier wall through those areas, mainly because we believe we can probably bring these areas of the building back up and operational relatively quickly. On the other side of that construction wall, however, there's going to be a lot of noisy activity going on in the future, and we want to put a sturdy wall in there that will protect the inhabitants moving into these areas from the noise, construction, dust, debris, et cetera. Yes, ma'am.
Q: That's Corridor 4 down there, and that is a corridor -- at the top there where the next line up --
Evey: This would be 5.
Evey: This is 6.
Q: So, it's -- I'm sorry, so it's between Corridor --
Evey: No, the wedge line is between Corridor 4 and Corridor 5, okay. That's the line of demarcation between the first wedge and the second wedge.
Q: So you will have to go across corridors a little bit then.
Evey: Yes. What we intend to do, since it goes across both wedges, I had kind of a decision to make very quickly. Do I take the Wedge 1 contractor, who I already had in place, and who knew more about this building than anybody else out there right now, and kind of expand their work effort to -- expand Wedge 1 if you will? Or do I take the Wedge 2 contractors, who were just brought on board through a very extensive competition, and who is an extremely capable contractor, and do I kind of extend Wedge 2 and reduce Wedge 1? And what we decided to do is to build those barriers -- on this side, we're going to build these barriers.
Then we're going to go in here and we're going to rebuild the basic structure of the building, the concrete columns and the concrete floors, okay. Having done that, we've reestablished the physical structure of the building and the wedge line. And then I'm going to have the Wedge 1 contractor rebuild Wedge 1, and I'll start the Wedge 2 contractor building Wedge 2, renovating Wedge 2.
Q: I'm sorry, but just one more time, that corridor up there is 5 or 3?
Evey: Yes. This is quarter 3 here. That's where one of those south tiers bridges comes in, the one that's not yet open. Okay? This is quarter 4. This is quarter 5.
Reinforced external walls
Q: Why were you changing contractors, sir? Were you unhappy with the work that was being performed by the first contractor?
Evey: We wanted to go about doing our work in a fundamentally different way -- okay -- than the traditional -- this wedge one was one in a traditional construction manner, okay? I'll describe it to you very briefly, okay? Traditionally what happens is you go out and you hire an architect engineer who does designs and drawings and specifications for you -- and a complete set of drawings. That set of drawings for wedge one was 3,500 pages. So it's very, very elaborate. After you have those drawings and specifications done, then you put that package out on the street for a bid, and you get a construction contractor to build to what the drawings say.
What we had wanted to do from wedges two through five is we wanted to what's called a design-build, and that is we hire the architect engineer and the construction contractor as one package, and we do a competition with those groups, having them form joint ventures or other relationships as architect engineer constructors, and compete them once against another in that mode, so that we have the architect, the engineers and the construction contractor as a team working for us. Then we dramatically reduce the numbers of specifications and drawings that we provided, instead asking them to provide us a certain output product, what we call a performance specification.
To contrast that, it took us 3,500 pages of drawings and specs for wedge one. For wedges two through five the full spec package was 16 pages -- dramatically different way of doing business. We have done it several times already in the Pentagon renovation -- it saved the taxpayers a lot of money. It saved us a lot of time. That's why we wanted to do it on wedge two through five. So what we have done contractually, we have given verbal direction to the wedge one contractor, and they're involved in supporting the search and recovery effort right now -- they are on site already. Secondly, we are initiating contracts to get specialists in reclamation and rebuilding, bring them onto the site to help us understand how best to go about doing this.
Thirdly, we awarded the wedge two contract, as our intent to bring that contractor on board as quickly as possible, and have them start doing what it was we originally envisioned for them to do, and that is start with the renovation of wedge two. Now, that renovation has changed somewhat in character, but basically that's still what we want them to do. The nature of the competition that we conducted -- and it took us over a year to do it -- was to seek contractors who are flexible, have a proven past performance of being able to deal with very difficult, complex situations, and who we thought could work with us effectively in resolving issues and problems that are inherent doing a job of this amount of complexity.
Those are exactly the same characteristics we want now, even though the nature of the job and the character of it has changed somewhat.
Areas where immediate work is to be performed
Q: Are you still taking everyone out of the entire wedge two, and you are going to -- you know that wall will be built in there -- you are going to treat wedge two as wedge two, as you planned to before?
Evey: No, what we -- you are now asking some questions that are of the next stage, and we have not yet addressed fully how we are going to do all that. Okay? I will say this: We have made arrangements for swing space in its temporary locations in other places, that can more than accommodate that. We have not yet had an opportunity to think through all of that.
Q: So people could stay in that portion of wedge two for a while longer?
Evey: That's correct, that's correct. This is in our initial thinking. Let me stress again this is our initial thinking. We are going to try to do this job the best way we know how, as efficiently, as effectively as possible, and use as few as the taxpayer dollars as possible, and do it right. So, wedge two through five contract, the initial award value, we put $145 million on the contract.
Wedge 2-5 Contract Highlights
That was the monies that were available to us in this fiscal year. Potential total value -- and I need to talk about that a bit -- $758 million. However, the way that contract was awarded was that they did not try to estimate what inflation might be. Right now we are anticipating that this project, wedges two through five, will be completed in the year 2012. And rather than have a contractor try to guess what inflation might be over that whole period of time, instead what we did was we wrote a contract that has us track constantly the cost of personnel, materials and equipment. And then before we exercise the option for each successive wedge we inflate the cost that was proposed for that wedge by whatever your experience has been in the marketplace.
Security improvements made by Pentagon renovation program
Q: So is $758 million in this year dollars?
Evey: That's correct, that's in this year dollars that would be inflated as we went from wedge to wedge. So it does not count inflation costs through the year 2012.
Q: And that's if the contractor gets all the rest of the wedges?
Evey: If the contractor gets all of the options for the remaining wedges, that's correct, sir.
Q: So the award value then of $145 million is for wedge two?
Evey: That's to get the work started in wedge two. But that was not the full price of wedge two. That was the monies we had available in this fiscal year, yes, sir. Now, if you look at wedges two through five, that entire contract would be for over four million square feet in the building. Again, it's what we call a design-build, and the contractor that will be doing that work is a company called Hensel Phelps.
Wedge 1 & Wedges 2-5 Contractors
Q: Where are their headquarters?
Evey: They are headquartered in Colorado.
Q: Where in Colorado?
Evey: I think it's Denver.
Q: Is the 145 million a subset of --
Evey: Excuse me -- however, they have local offices in Chantilly. They have a local -- that's a regional office for them in Chantilly.
Q: The 145 is a subset of 758? It wouldn't come on top of it?
Evey: It's not on top of it. It's a subset, that's correct.
Q: Are they a public firm, do they trade publicly, do you know? Is it a public firm?
Evey: I really don't know, sir, I'm sorry.
Q: How much was the wedge one contract for?
Evey: The wedge one finally totaled about $258 million.
Q: How long did it take to do the construction of wedge one?
Evey: It took three years to do wedge one.
Q: And who did that?
Evey: Actually it took longer to do wedge one. It took us two years to get the 5,000 people out.
Q: But that doesn't count.
Evey: It's not as bad as it sounds, because to move the 5,000 people out, they had to go out and lease a million square feet of office space in the local area, and first renovate that million square feet of office space to move them into, so that they could then start on wedge one. So it's --
Q: Do you anticipate -- excuse me -- do you anticipate that rebuilding wedge one would cost in that same range, or a little bit more considering the --
Evey: I can't give you a really good estimate on that yet. You know, we don't really have sufficient access to this area to go in and start doing real tight estimates.
Q: But is that a number we can use as a rough cost of it?
Evey: I would expect that the rebuilding of wedge one would probably not cost more than that. Presuming that the amount of work that is required is reduced in some substantial way, because there are areas where we believe the damage is minimal.
Q: What are the costs of wedge two --
Q: Can you clarify something, sir, when you say all that, because part of it's one wedge and part of it is another wedge? Basically the broadest ball park figure in your own mind from your experience with this building of basically putting the space back together.
Evey: It will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars.
Q: More than five? (Laughter.)
Evey: It will cost us hundreds of millions. I know there were some discussion yesterday: Would it cost $10 million? It will cost a lot of money, okay? But I can't right now in good faith try to estimate what that amount is. We simply don't have enough information.
Q: (Off mike) -- I mean, years? You know, we've asked about two -- a couple of years? Five years?
Evey: In my expectation, based on our experience in wedge one, is that it will take us a considerable period of time. It might take us a couple of years to do this, okay? I will say this: We will do it as quickly as we can, and we will do it as economically as we can.
Q: Because this building is a historic landmark, is there any kind of special challenge in restoring the exterior with that kind of limestone?
Evey: Interestingly, it is my understanding that the individual who runs the quarry in Indiana where we have bought the limestone for some of the projects we have done already -- for instance, most of you here in the building are familiar with the South Terrace bridges -- those are faced in limestone. That limestone came from the same quarry that the original limestone that is on the building came from. It's my understanding that the individual who now is somewhat elderly, who is the foreman on the job for cutting that limestone, as a teenager worked at the Pentagon installing the limestone in the original Pentagon.
Q: (Off mike) --
Q: So you anticipate going to the same quarry -- just to make sure I didn't miss --
Evey: To try to make sure it is a match of limestone.
Q: You will go to the same original quarry?
Evey: That would be our expectation.
Q: In the renovation that you were going to do -- are there any lessons that you've learned from -- do you expect to change in any way from working on wedge one because of what you have seen after this impact?
Evey: Let me -- can I -- hold that for just a second, try to get through this, and they'll we'll try to get --
Q: One contractor name?
Evey: Yeah. Wedge one is a company called AMEC, A-M-E-C. A-M-E-C.
Q: That was not a design-build contractor?
Evey: No, that was what you call design-bid-build.
Q: Okay. Are they local, or --
Evey: Actually their parent company is in England but they have a very large presence in the United States. They do construction throughout the United States. It's a very large company.
Q: Your 758 figure would include the Wedge 1 costs, correct?
Evey: No, ma'am. 758 is wedges two through five.
Q: Wedges two through five.
Evey: Yes ma'am. Let me -- let me, if I can, just try to get through this, and then I'll -- I'll just answer all your questions. Okay. What I wanted to do was give you some idea of the kinds of things that we've done in the Pentagon renovation to try support building safety and building security. Okay. So, the first is the remote delivery facility, that 250,000 square foot facility that you see on the north end of the building, okay.
The purpose for that facility is to move truck deliveries, which used to come right into the south end of the Pentagon -- 18- wheelers used to back up inside the building, on the loop itself to unload, which is clearly a tremendous threat -- to move all those trucks away from the building, have them deliver at the remote delivery facility. That facility has been up and operational for almost exactly one year.
There have already been 64,000 deliveries made at that facility, so it's a very large and very busy facility. Once a truck enters that facility, you have bomb-sniffing dogs that check out the truck. They check with mirrors underneath the chassis. Everything that comes into the building is x-rayed through very large, pallet-sized x-ray machines. And after it's cleared all those things, it does not again leave a cleared area. It goes ! through a tunnel into the Pentagon -- something we call "the connector."
Okay. That facility is already complete and it's been in place and operational for about a year. Secondly, we have an arrow here. This the Metro entrance facility. It's shown as being complete, but actually it's under construction. Okay. Most of you are familiar with that. That's where the Metro train comes into the building. There's a bus loop above it. We are moving the bus loop away from the building. And I think it's worth mentioning that at the point in time that we started planning this and discussing this plan locally, we were severely criticized, and in fact, even to some extent ridiculed. One particular quote that sticks with me is somebody thought that this was kind of a stupid thing to do, and made the comment that, don't you know that terrorists don't arrive on busses. And I think we've all learned that terrorists arrive on busses. They arrive in planes. And they arrive in all kinds of inconvenient manners.
Clearly, this was something we had to do to help protect not only the building but also the people that use that mass transportation system. To put it in perspective, busses come within nine feet of this building and the current Metro entrance facility. The crater at Kobar Towers was 150 feet in diameter.
We think the need to move those buses away from this building is clear. The south terrace bridges also provide an opportunity to move vehicular traffic away from the face of the building, and keep any potential from blast threat as far away from the building as possible. We've done a replacement of the exterior high-pressure water lines.
And you might think that that doesn't sound like much of a safety or security improvement, but I will remind you that the last time that we had a significant fire in the Pentagon happened to be the day that the aircraft were going in for their first air strikes on Desert Storm. At that point in time, a fire broke out in the basement of the Pentagon. The Arlington County Fire Department, the same fire department that responded this week responded to that fire.
When they hooked the hoses up to the fire station and turned on the water, the pipes blew out. Nine million gallons of water flowed into the basement of the Pentagon. The Air Force Operations Center came within a few inches of going off-line. Those inches were inches of water depth. Had it gone up only a few more inches, those guys would have gone off-line as the aircraft were going in on their initial strikes. So, that may not sound like much, but in order to fight fires like you just saw happen here, you have to have faith that when you turn on the hose, water comes out the end. Yes sir?
Q: I'm sorry -- I just wanted to ask you to stay a little closer to the --
Evey: Okay. Redundant exterior communications -- we have provided additional routes of communication out of the building so that should there be some terrorist action or something else that cuts one of our routes of communication, they can be replaced by others. We are putting in blast resistant windows concurrent with the renovation as we go around the building. We're putting in, where we don't use blast resistant windows, tempered glass windows that should they fragment, fragment into tiny little pieces, not great shards that fly for a distance.
Q: Some people have said the mylar that's on older windows has helped them, in the older sections.
Evey: Yes ma'am.
Q: But it hasn't been put along the press room. Do you know any reason why -- (laughter) --
Evey: Ma'am, I assure you, I couldn't talk to that. (Laughter.)
Q: Do you think it will be now, because a lot of people in the press office work with --
Evey: I don't know --
Evey: I don't install the mylar, so I wouldn't --
Quigley: Can I -- can I interrupt for a second?
Evey: Yes sir.
Quigley: Let me -- let me address that. You get a little ancillary blast protection from the mylar . That's not its principle purpose.
Quigley: It's -- it's almost coincidental. The principle purpose is to stop electronic and acoustic eavesdropping and for -- we're going to assume that there's no classified, national security information that's in the press window section. So, in all other offices in the building, that wouldn't be true. So, it minimizes the opportunity for a simple, effective acoustic eavesdropping. And that's -- yes, you get a little bit of blast protection, but -- but that's not its real purpose.
Q: Right. But some people say it has -- that they really felt that that helped a lot.
Evey: We've already talked about the steel reinforcements in the exterior wall. That's again something that we'll do concurrent with the renovations as we go around the building, the kevlar cloth, the same thing. We've put in an extensive monitoring and control system that maintains the status and awareness throughout the building from something else that we've built, which is the Building Operations and Control Center, okay.
Those two things together provide a tremendous amount of knowledge to people at once centralized location, so they can control building operations. Fire sprinklers. Interestingly, you know, there was a fire that raged through wedge two, the unrenovated area. If you look at wedge one, except in those areas where it was clearly fueled by jet fuel, the fire, when it tried to spread into other wedge one areas, was knocked down immediately by the fire sprinklers.
There was virtually no spread whatsoever, so we saw a tremendous beneficial effect from that. Automatic fire doors are something else that we put in that will help assist people should there be fires. Another is a general compliance with fire safety codes and Americans with Disability Act compliance. The existing Pentagon is not compliant with fire safety codes. The Pentagon is not compliant with any code. The last time the building was compliant with the national electric code, for instance, is 1953. So, clearly, we have a lot to work in this area, among which are fire safety and other code compliance activities that will assist people and help ensure they aren't unnecessarily injured. Yes ma'am.
Q: Sir, was it Oklahoma City or Khobar Towers or some other tangible event that promoted these security improvements?
Evey: No, I don't think I could point to any one of those things and say that's what did it. I think, clearly, everyone has at some point in time become aware that our world over the past years has changed in very dramatic ways, and we thought it was a prudent thing to do to recognize that change and take appropriate steps.
Q: Is there a year that you can put to this when these decisions were beginning at least being made?
Evey: The decisions for us were being made at about the point in time that we started wedge one, which was a little bit over three years ago.
Q: Could I ask you just one thing? I don't know if you made this clear. There's $758 million you estimated wedges two through five?
Evey: Yes, sir.
Q: Does that include the hundreds of millions you're talking about in repairs?
Evey: No, sir.
Q: That doesn't?
Evey: No, that was --
Q: That would be on top.
Evey: That would be on top. That's correct, sir. I have a list here of the wedge one and the wedge two through five contractors and subcontractors. I'll say, over here on the AMEC side, many of these companies are very involved out there right now supporting recovery activities, et cetera. The response from the construction industry in general has been overwhelming and tremendously positive. And that concludes my briefing. Fire away.
Q: What have you missed? What security concerns are there still out there that you don't think that this addresses? Are you concerned about plane flyovers at the Pentagon? Are you concerned about the existence of having a Metro come in under this building, to come in so close to this building? Can you speak to that?
Evey: Let me say, we do continual assessments of what we think are probable risks, and then we try to do what we can to defeat them. Let me say, just as a general comment, that, I mean, if you had a clean sheet of paper and you were going to select the location for the Pentagon, you would probably try to find a place that didn't have heavily-traveled roads as closely as we have here, et cetera. Those are clearly threats that we have to deal with, and they provide a challenge to us. All those things that you list are things that we look at and try to, to the best of our ability, try to accommodate.
Q: If it were up to you, would you move the military headquarters of the country?
Evey: That's not up to me. (Laughter.)
Q: You said you'd address it in a general way, but can you address it also in a more specific way? I think the question addressed a few specific concerns about planes flying over, about the Metro.
Evey: We work with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers and other organizations to assess threats and then develop what we think are appropriate responses to those threats. Okay, let me make the point: No building can be perfectly safe. We all know that. No building can be blast-proof. I've heard some people refer to the windows as blast-proof windows. There's no such thing as blast-proof windows and there's no such thing as a blast-proof facility. It can't be built. What you can do is take reasonable and prudent measures. Now, we looked at things like the characteristics of the blast to which the building might be subjected in a terrorist event.
Those blasts have various characteristics, depending on the size of the blast, its proximity, et cetera. There are things -- strike intensity, strike duration, things like that. In fact, the blast-resistant windows that are on A ring and the blast-resistant windows that are on E ring re of a different composition, because our expectation is that they would be exposed to a different type of blast event. You just do the best job you can of anticipating what those things might be and then trying to deal with them.
Q: Would it be reasonable and prudent to permanently close Reagan National Airport?
Evey: That falls in the category of what I call the cosmic questions. (Laughter.) I build the building. I don't deal with those. (Laughs.)
Q: Would it be cheaper to build a new Pentagon elsewhere than to renovate this one?
Evey: That's an interesting question. In fact, I came on the program about four years ago, and one of the first things that I did when I got on the program was have my people do an estimate of what it would cost to replace this building for another location. We took it to a hypothetical location, Fort Belvoir, and built a building of identical size with a different shape -- this is a fully inefficient shape for some things -- and looked at the cost. Let me first say, if you're going to build this building somewhere else, it's real hard to find a place that is in close proximity to Washington DC, has space for 10,300 parking spaces, has a Metro that comes up close to the building -- it doesn't come underneath, but it comes close to the building; you know, has an intermodal transportation system already available, et cetera.
And there aren't many buildings around here that have those characteristics. So what we looked at was Fort Belvoir. The initial analysis of that suggested to us that the actual construction of the building proper, constructing a building out there, would be somewhat cheaper than renovating the Pentagon. However, the building has 25,000 employees. They have to get to work each day. So we looked at what the cost would be to then extend a Metro line out to Fort Belvoir to serve that new Pentagon. I think the cost of the Metro -- it's been a while sin